With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal out, it looked like Andy Murray’s event to challenge Novak Djokovic in Miami — but now only Djokovic stands of the former “Big 4.”
The No. 2-seeded Murray, who maintains a training base in Miami, was stunned on Monday at the Miami Open, losing to No. 26 seed Grigor Dimirov 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-3.
“To be honest I just played better in the big moments today,” Dimitrov said. “Even though I lost the first set, I kept good composure. I had to stay in the match and I had to be really focused. I think when I was 3-1 down in the third set, I knew I was going to get another chance because I was returning well, playing well in the key moments.”
Murray slipped to 6-3 in his career head-to-head with Dimitrov.
“A lot of unforced errors in the third set,” Murray said. “Obviously, I didn’t start the second set particularly well. After winning a close first set you want to try and put your opponent under pressure. I think I lost my first two service games to love, so that wasn’t very good. Then in the third set, he managed to get up a break and then I made a lot of unforced errors. Credit to him. He was more solid than me.”
Dimitrov’s next match will be another showcase against the entertaining No. 16 seed Gael Monfils, who on Monday beat No. 23 Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-4.
Another upset-maker was No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut, who toppled No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). He will next face No. 6 Kei Nishikori, who was the lone Top 10 winner on the day, easily handling No. 27 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 6-2.
“Everything worked well,” said Nishikori who has never lost to “The Dog” in four career meetings. “Not many easy mistakes and I served well today, so that was the key.”
No. 12 Milos Raonic beat back a challenge from No. 22 Jack Sock 7-6(3), 6-4, next meeting unseeded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. It was Raonic’s seventh win in a row over Sock.
No. 24 seed Nick Kyrgios and Andrey Kuznetsov also lined up a meeting, with the Aussie topping American Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-4, and the Russian beating Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-5, 6-0.
Tuesday’s highlights in Miami will be (10) Richard Gasquet vs. (7) Tomas Berdych, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (14) Dominic Thiem, and (16) Gael Monfils vs. (26) Grigor Dimitrov.
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